Anzu is a genus of large oviraptorosaurian dinosaurs from the late Cretaceous (66 million years ago) of North Dakota and South Dakota, US. Scientists have nicknamed it "the chicken from Hell" because of its appearance and where it was found. It will be a playable dinosaur in Saurian, but will only become available after the game's development is complete.
Anzu is characterized by a toothless beak, a prominent crest, long arms ending in slender, relatively straight claws, long powerful legs with slender toes, and a relatively short tail. Anzu measured about 3 metres (9.8 ft) to 3.5 metres (11 ft) long, up to 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) tall at the hips and 200 kilograms (440 lb) to 300 kilograms (660 lb) in weight, and was the largest North American oviraptorosaur, though the Mongolian genus Gigantoraptor was larger than Anzu.
Its diet is unknown like all oviraptorosaurians. But because it had jaws that could cut and shear food but no teeth, Lyson and Sues assume it ate both animals and plants, and perhaps eggs.
It had been expected that oviraptorosaurs would be found in North America, as well as the documented specimens in Asia, as the two continents had a land connection during the Cretaceous, but the discovery of Anzu indicates that North American oviraptorosaurs were related more closely to each other than to their counterparts in Asia.
The three Anzu skeletons were found in deposits of humid floodplain environments, suggesting that it favored such habitats. This is one way in which caenagnathids appear to have differed greatly from their Asian oviraptorid cousins, which are found in rocks deposited under arid to semi-arid conditions.
The purpose of Anzu's large crest is unclear; Sues notes that it "is very large and made of paper-thin bone, so it was not able to take much stress. All oviraptosaurs have this crest but it is certainly the largest in A. wyliei. The most likely function is for display, showing off to members of your own species. The Australian cassowary has a similar crest which is thought to be used to attract mates, so it is possible that A. wyliei could have used its crest in a similar fashion."
The fossils showed evidence of injuries, including a healed broken rib and an arthritic toe that was probably the result of a tendon being ripped away from the bone (an avulsion fracture). It is not known whether this indicates that the animals fought each other, or were injured by predators.
Anzu has feathers on the majority of its body, including the forearms and tail fan. The female's color is tan and grey to match its habitat and the male's colors are more flashy for the purpose of display. Males also have a larger crest in addition to an overall larger size.
Behavior and BiologyEdit
Anzu is an omnivore, eating high vegetation and small prey, including the eggs and hatchlings of other dinosaurs. Because of the differences between the two sexes, Anzu males and females have slightly different niches from one another. When dealing with threats, Anzu's first choice is to run. Anzu has a unique ability that allows it to mimic the calls of other dinosaurs in the ecosystem which it uses to both attract prey and bluff potential threats.
Notes and referecnesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Parker, Tom. (September 8, 2016) New Playable Animals: Vote Results! Saurian Blog. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
|Animals of Saurian|
|Playable: Ankylosaurus • Anzu • Dakotaraptor • Pachycephalosaurus • Triceratops • Tyrannosaurus
Non-playable: Acheroraptor (originally playable) • Alvarezsaur • Anatosaurus • Axestemys • Basilemys • Bone Butte Bird • Borealosuchus • Brachychampsa • Brodavis • Casterolimulus • Chamops • Champsosaurus • Denversaurus • Didelphodon • Habrosaurus • Meniscoessus • Mosasaurus • Ornithomimid • Quetzalcoatlus • Palaeosaniwa • Pectinodon • Thescelosaurus • Thoracosaurus • Toxochelys